27 Feb 2024

CIH Scotland reacts to homelessness statistics

The Scottish Government has today published the homelessness statistics update to 30 September 2023 showing evidence of growing pressure on homelessness services. Key points include:

  • 30,724 open cases at 30 September, an increase of 10 per cent since the previous year.
  • 20,144 applications, an increase of three per cent.
  • 16,420 households assessed as homeless, an increase of four per cent.
  • 15,625 households in temporary accommodation (up eight per cent) including 9,860 children (up eight per cent).

Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland said:

“The latest homelessness figures from the Scottish Government are deeply concerning but they don’t come as a surprise, only confirming what our members have been telling us – that demand for services has been continuing to increase without a corresponding increase in resources. We have a government that has set out world class ambitions to end homelessness in Scotland, yet we are seeing more households and children in temporary accommodation than ever before, and no sign of the urgent action needed to reverse the trend. Instead, today we expect to see devastating cuts confirmed to the housing supply budget.

“We are concerned to see levels of homelessness resulting from domestic abuse remaining steady at 13 per cent of applications despite efforts from the housing sector to recognise and address the issue. In 2021, Parliament passed legislation to ensure that social landlords could evict perpetrators of domestic abuse from a joint tenancy without making the victim homeless. Three years later victims are still waiting for the Scottish Government to enact this law and give them the ability to stay in their own home.

“Encouragingly, the figures suggest a reduction in the number of households becoming homeless from the private rented sector, and this is something we hope the sector can build on. The PRS is a vital part of the housing sector in Scotland and new research we are preparing to publish in the coming days will set out how the PRS could contribute to reducing homelessness going forward. If we are to end homelessness in Scotland, every part of the housing system needs to be working effectively and providing safe, secure homes.”